In 2016, a trend emerged that pushed content marketing in an exciting, albeit challenging, direction. True to the inclination towards visuals, video marketing became a powerhouse way to connect with and engage users. The numbers are in, and all studies seem to support the idea that there is a gradual shift happening that points towards video. It’s why major platforms like Facebook and Instagram pushed their live video features so aggressively in 2016, and why video clips and memes dominated the internet all year.

One study by Newswhip revealed that videos are getting significantly more likes, comments, and shares than other content forms, citing a decline in overall engagements for the top 10 publishers online. While that might not sound like a big deal, it does indicate an important and noteworthy shift happening that has and will continue to impact the way brands content with their audience.

Video Engagement on Social Media

If you consider how brands use social media to promote content and connect with users, the importance of shares and likes is apparent. And, given that many people actually regard platforms like Facebook as a valid source of news and preferred content, there really is no other choice than for publishers to share their content on social channels.

Interestingly, Buffer conducted a study in engagements across Facebook and Twitter that measured the engagement on different types of content:

snapshot What the Rise of Video Tells Us About User Behavior

Despite videos being about the same as everything else on Twitter, it far out-performs other content types on Facebook at more than twice that of just text.

…So?

So, given the intersection of e-commerce, content production, and the role of social media within the whole picture, video is now becoming less of a good idea than it is a mandatory content form. This is especially important for brands and businesses that rely heavily on online sales, because as Adobe’s research found:

  • Shoppers who view a video are 1.81x more likely to purchase than non-viewers
  • 9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI
  • Mobile shoppers are 3x as likely to view a video than desktop shoppers (read more about mobile user behavior here)
  • In an eye-mapping study of SERPs, video results commanded more attention than any other listing

It’s becoming increasingly evident that, much like the shift to mobile, the shift in user preference for video will be something that marketers will have to adapt to and factor into their strategy to remain competitive.

From an optimization standpoint, if videos command more attention than other results, then it’s only fair to assume that videos will return the most clicks. While video optimization (will it have sound, will it have text, etc.) is another subject, we can conclude that the rise of video tells us how users are interacting with products and people.